MILLBURN, NJ - Civility, honest public discourse and productive dialogue should be the bedrock of our community. However, it seems to be painfully absent in Township Committee meetings as was evident in several of the previous sessions. Recent discourses have reflected very poorly upon the Committee as our representatives instilled no confidence in their stewardship. It was also disappointing, degrading and frankly intimidating to anyone presenting his or her opinions in a public forum. It left a lasting impression of exclusion and a demeanor of disregard to dissenting viewpoints.
The issues that affect our town are serious. They include affordable housing, new businesses and downtown development, upkeep and advancement of recreational areas, parks and many other services. We are also living through an era of major social unrest. We have to tackle these serious and often divisive issues with tempered leadership, inclusiveness of varying opinions and, most of all, with utmost transparency. There should be no role for clandestine, close door personal agenda politics and “gotcha“ moments. Only then will we establish long-lasting solutions. I propose that we focus on these concepts and pledge to cultivate creative outcomes together.
We are reasonable adults. We are parents. We are responsible community members and we want the best for all residents of Millburn Township. We are striving to create an environment of kindness and inclusiveness within the Township Committee, and not one of disregard and malice. We are striving to encourage an environment of open dialogue and an atmosphere where the public forum is addressed politely, questions are answered appropriately and not attacked with hostility. There is no reason to hide behind party politics to attack people of opposing or different backgrounds. Let us talk about issues with civility, with equity and with mutual respect. The Millburn/Short Hills community deserves representation by professionals with the ability to think outside-the-box and who are open to bipartisan dialogue.
For more information about Nic Volipicelli and Dr. Sujoy Menon, candidates for Millburn Township Committee, please visit www.nicandsujoyformillburn.com.